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February 2016

Last month we mentioned that we'd be attending a national Mastermind event in Scottsdale for retirement focused planners. As always, the event was action packed and very educational. Given the volatility of the stock market (worst start of the year since 1929), persistent low interest rates, and a general concern of world events, more and more baby boomers are becoming very concerned about their future in retirement, to say the least. I don't blame them either! I personally believe that volatility will be the new norm and that seniors that use invested assets to draw their income need to be extremely careful! We don't have a crystal ball, but there's an old saying that states "we'd rather be safe than sorry". There are proven strategies to provide income that will work in virtually any market, you just have to ask.

Last month we also introduced a new video series done by our good friend Josh Mellberg of JD Mellberg financial that is scheduled to air nationally on PBS affiliated TV stations. The series is titled "Mastering Your Money" and features Josh interviewing various experts in finance and economics. It's very educational and takes a good common sense approach to a variety financial matters. Just go to our website and click on the "resources" tab to find the videos. For those of you that receive this newsletter that are not already clients, if you're looking for answers to some of your questions, then maybe this is a good place to start. If you'd like to further discuss any of the topics covered, then we're here to answer your questions and guide you in any way we can.

One topic of continued discussion is ANNUITIES. The problem is that they are probably one of the most misunderstood financial products out there, often because of misinformation being spread by those who do not fully understand them. The biggest reason they are in most discussions is this: annuities are the only investment tool that can guarantee lifetime income, period! And guess what, that's just what most retirees need. The trick is knowing what kind should you have, if any, and knowing how to properly blend them into your overall portfolio. 

The biggest knock we typically see against annuities (usually by Wall Street geared advisers and planners) is surrender charges. A surrender charge is a penalty for cashing in the contract early. But, did you know we can now get annuities with no surrender penalties or "Return of Premium" riders? That gives you the ability to have downside protection, while still having some growth potential, without the fear of "locking your money up" for the length of a surrender schedule. This is something that is appealing to people who fear a downturn in the markets, but don't want to lose potential earnings by keeping their money in cash. You could get zero if things take a turn for the worse or you could earn a little if things go well, but you won't lose money. I think most would agree that zero is better than going backwards. That's where we can assist you. Again, just ask!

As always, remember that "applied knowledge is power" and "the purpose of the money dictates where you put it". 

Enjoy this month's articles and we'll see you next month,

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James D. Stillman
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A Few Common Mistakes Most Retirees Make -   Part 1 
Lake Norman Magazine, February 2016
Last month we discussed new changes in Social Security planning due to the signing of a new bipartisan budget passed into law and signed by President Obama on November 2nd, 2015.To get the particulars, you can refer to last month's article, which we have posted on our website.

This month, let's spend a few minutes on a few of the mistakes that I believe many retirees make with their finances. After almost twenty years in the retirement planning business, I've seen these things show up again and again. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pretty conservative retirement planner and a big believer in the old saying "it's not what you make, it's what you keep", especially in this crazy volatile world we live in today. 

Here's one thing I know for sure when it comes to retirement piece of mind, your income determines your retirement lifestyle!It's really nice to be able to spend with confidence, because you have your income figured out. So, here we go with a few of the biggest mistakes retirees make with their finances, in my opinion.

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May You Live in Interesting Times
GFPC Thought for the Week (374)

* Everyday investors are panicking over this most recent wave of volatility, but professional investors seem to be remaining calm for the time being. 

* Three key indicators tell us a lot about the mindset of professional investors, which matters because of their dominance in the U.S. equity market. 

* The market appears as if it may remain decoupled from fundamentals for the time being, but that in of itself will not shift the direction of the U.S. economy.

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What Can We Gain From All This Pain?
GFPC Thought for the Week (375)

* The first three weeks of the New Year delivered investors an 11% drawdown in the S&P 500, and many are justifiably concerned that stocks could continue to fall even further. 

* Historical data shows that drawdowns occur very frequently but rarely result in a down year for the S&P 500. 

* Staying invested when stocks feel as if they are dropping every day is extremely difficult, but that's why the long-term rewards can be so plentiful.

All content is intended for informational purposes only. Any guarantees are for insured products only and are dependent on the claims paying abilities of the insurer. All investments carry some risk and you should be advised by your personal financial advidor before implementing any strategies discussed, as they are not suitable for everyone. James D. Stillman is an Investment Advisor Representative of JDS Wealth Management Corporation and Global Financial Private Capital.

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This Month
A Few Common Mistakes Most Retirees Make - Part 1
May You Live in Interesting Times
What Can We Gain From All This Pain?

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